CSM has voids to fill — and must fix defense

The College of San Mateo football team struggled through a tough 2006 in the competitive NorCal Conference, going 1-4 — including three games in which the defense surrendered 44 or more points — while winning fewer than eight games for just the second time since 2000.

This season won’t get any easier as the Bulldogs must contend with the losses of several key contributors, but there still remains a solid group of veterans coming back for coach Larry Owens.

Leading the group of returnees from a 6-4 team is quarterback David Singleton, who saw plenty of playing time last season as a freshman. Singleton played in 10 games, passing for 1,134 yards with three touchdowns and six interceptions, and Owens believes those numbers will improve now that the sophomore has a better understanding of the offense.

“David did a good job for us last year,” Owens said. “He’s looked real good so far in practice and we expect big things out of him this season now that he has a season under his belt.”

Singleton will get protection from a couple of returning offensive lineman in 6-foot-3, 295-pound Logo Maluia and 6-5, 325-pound Tevita Halaholo. Spencer Garrison, a sophomore wide receiver who caught 13 passes for 220 yards last season, will be Singleton’s top deep threat, while freshman Daniel Porter appears to be the top candidate as the team’s featured running back.

Defensively, the Bulldogs will be led by a trio of returning linebackers in Andre Portis, Kurt Filler and Hanson Sekona, who ranked second on the team in sacks last season. Bernard Wolfgramm, a 6-3, 270-pound defensive lineman, also returns.

“We still have some question marks, especially in the defensive secondary,” Owens said. “We lost some key guys from last year, but that doesn’t change any of our goals. We go out with the mind-set to be competitive against every team we play.”

CSM BULLDOGS

» LAST YEAR: 6-4 (1-4 in the NorCal Conference)

» HEAD COACH: Larry Owens, 16th year

» KEY RETURNEES: QB David Singleton, OL Tevita Halaholo, OL Logo Maluia, WR Spencer Garrison, LB Andre Portis, DL Bernard Wolfgramm.

» KEY NEWCOMERS: RB Daniel Porter, DL Jamie Fehoko, WR Danny Keenan.

» KEY GAME: Oct. 20 vs. CCSF, 1 p.m.. The Bulldogs will look to avenge their 41-24 loss from last season.

SCHEDULE

Sept. 1: vs. American River 1 p.m.

Sept. 8: at Chabot 7 p.m.

Sept. 15: at West Hills 6 p.m.

Sept. 22: vs. West Valley 1 p.m.

Sept. 29: at Solano 1 p.m.

Oct. 6: Bye

Oct. 13: at Foothill 1 p.m.

Oct. 20: at CCSF 1 p.m.

Oct. 27: at Butte 1 p.m.

Nov. 3: Feather River 1 p.m.

Nov. 10: Santa Rosa 1 p.m.

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